The 2016 Mike Stilwell Lifetime Achievement Award
Presented to: Allan Pace
Presented by: Spectacular Northwest Territories
‘This individual has had a significant impact on the development of the tourism industry, past and present. He has provided longstanding and exceptional service, has demonstrated leadership and integrity, has left a strong legacy, and has gained the respect of those in the tourism industry. ‘
Response From Al:
Last week I was deeply honoured to receive the Mike Stilwell Lifetime Achievement Award from Northwest Territories Tourism. My love affair with the north began on July 6, 1977 while aboard a Wardair Twin Otter destined for Point Lake and the Coppermine River. I grew up in a canoe tripping family and explored many regions of the Ontario wildlands – but flying over the tundra for the first time as an 18 year-old school boy captured my imagination and fueled my desire to explore countless northern rivers over a 40 year period. In 1987, my wife Lin Ward and I founded Canoe North Adventures and began sharing our love of wilderness river adventures with Canadians – mostly from Ontario.
With almost 170 canoe expeditions under our belts, many tripping clients ask me “what is your all-time favourite river” and my response has always been the same – I have favourite places on many different rivers. What brings me endless joy and satisfaction in each expedition, is the passion and spirit-of-adventure our intrepid tripping clients bring to each adventure. As we approach Canada’s 150 Anniversary, I have never felt more pride in being Canadian and more privileged to have the freedom to share my canoe with fellow Canadians who want to fully embrace their wild side, often stepping way outside of their comfort zone. And to be able to explore and paddle freely on the ancestral lands and rivers of the Mountain Dene in the Mackenzie Mountains or the Inuvialuit Region – I feel privileged and truly grateful. My Dad always taught me to respect the wild rivers and lands and leave each campsite as nature intended – with just footprints left behind – and this fatherly advice has been the hallmark of our Canoe North Adventures legacy.
I want to thank the following northerners and fellow adventurers for helping guide my canoe on my life journey over sometimes rough and stormy waters. I am grateful for your wisdom, guidance, friendship, support and campfire stories. Walter Brennan & Anne-Marie da Silva, Mark Stenzig, Warren & Carolyn Wright, Nick & Liz Dale, Dave & Jennifer Thompson, Terry & Sue Guest, Donald & Marsha Grant, Dave & Sylvia Hodgetts, Rick & Vaila Hagg, Bob McLeod, Andy Short, Jess Fortner, Richard Zieba, Travis & Sue Wright, Michele McKenzie, George Tuccaro, Kelly Kaylo, Gloria Loree, Marion Lavigne, Ronne Heming, HRH The Duke of York, Wendy Cecil, Fran Pilon, Gord Burke, Beth Grant, Laurie Smith, Alison de Jong, Maurice Mendo, Peter Scott, Deb Simmons & Morris Modeste, Alex Von Bibber, Eddie Hodgson, Ethel Blondin & Leon Andrews, Ron & Wendy Oe, Everett & Peggy Pouw, Dianne & Andrew Bailes, Ann Voyame & Harry Feinig, Susan and Matt Casson, Carl & Jan Feairs and Jamie & Cathy Macdonald. Special thanks to my Mom & Dad and my sister Carla who paddles a canoe better than I do! My son Taylor who finds sweet lines through every rapid and is truly “at home” in the wilderness – thanks for inspiring me to discover rivers less travelled and to Lin, the love of my life, for sharing my tent and for putting your love of horses on hold to follow your heart north.